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This has REALLY been done to death - but do you know of ANYTHING that helps with early waking at 12 months?

(21 Posts)
elliott Mon 20-Dec-04 10:05:22

Title says it all really. Suppose I shouldn't complains as I know loads of parents are up at unearthly hours with their kids, but I can't manage it, i really can't. Also have dread fear that if I throw the towel in and decide to start the day at 6am, he will NEVER learn to sleep any later.

At present ds2 is waking anywhere between 4.30 and 5.45 and won't go back to sleep. He won't take milk at that time. We mostly ignore him or go in for a brief check as the crying is intermittent. In the past this seems to have helped and he's stopped after a few days, but this time he hasn't.
Any ideas at all? Or should I just give up and get up?

mishiclaus Mon 20-Dec-04 10:11:30

hi hun
my little boy was like this and i do one of two things..depending on how awake he was I would either put some toys in his room or I would bring him into our bed where he would fall back asleep for a an hour or so....not ideal I know but for my own sanity i needed the he is 14mths and is in cotbed rathere than cot and will quite happily get up and plsay with his toys or he comes to the gate and shouts me which is when he wants to come in our room....he also wakes later now..usually around 7 which is an improvement..he goes to bed at 7.30 and sleeps to 7 which i think is quite good for a tot.....hope someone else has some advice
take care

bakedpotatohoho Mon 20-Dec-04 10:20:33

elliott, this scares me rigid, as we're due no2 soon and no1 loves her lie-ins. she didn't always, but when she shouted we'd go in if she sounded sufficiently lively, keep lights off, whisper 'it's still nighttime' and offer some water, maybe shove some toys/books in (or put them in her cot the night before, as we were going to bed). we'd hear her playing with the toys and before long she did learn to go back to sleep/lie in, very happily.

i have always believed that they will wake up early if you give them a good reason too, which sounds like your approach too.

but secretly i've also always wondered if she's just a freak child and we're in for a rude awakening with the next one.

goodness, i do hope it's just a phase. when this happens to me, as i know it will, i am going to steel myself to be resistant to early-morning starts for as long as i can bear it. fingers crossed for you and lots of other bits too.

WideWebWitch Mon 20-Dec-04 10:27:01

Have you tried dropping any mid am nap elliot? Worked for us but we're still up at 6am mostly. Better than 4am though!

elliott Mon 20-Dec-04 10:35:50

thanks folks. With ds1 he sometimes woke early (although not usually before 6) and ignoring or brief visits generally resulted in him going back to sleep. Before he was one he would sometimes take a bottle if he woke around 5 and then go back to sleep. A bit later he would respond to being given books to look at. Generally we were able to hold the line that the day didn't start till around 6.45. So I thought I'd sussed this morning waking issue you see

I have tried giving him books - he just screams louder. Also he's not very mobile and can't sit himself up or lie himself down in the cot yet (which may be part of the problem).

His waking time doesn't seem to be related to the amount of daytime sleep. We are trying dropping him down to one sleep a day since he really doesn't seem tired by his early starts.

I am wondering whether a more formal controlled crying would be more effective? Can't really imagine why though.

santaclary Mon 20-Dec-04 10:38:27

elliott i have 3 x early risers but I mean 6-6.30am which is fine actually (as that's when I'm up for work)....
I also have a pal with a DS who has been gettign up early since quite small,and I mean 4-5am (ugh).
He is now 5 and at school, so is shattered by 6pm....and thus goes to bed.
what I am trying to say is I hope you can sort it sooner rather than later as this friend has now got a real mountian to climb. The earlier you can deal with it the better.
What time does ds2 go to bed? Is it worth pushing that time back???
See, mine go at 7pm cos I like my nice long evening to get jobs done (esp at this time of year) but if I really hated the 6am start I could push it back to 8pm and in the end they would sleep later.
worth a go?

elliott Mon 20-Dec-04 10:38:55

www, yes we are trying that (although when he's at nursery he only has one sleep anyway - but it can be v long - up to 3 hours!) Must admit I never thought I'd get to the point where 6am seemed desirable, but I have! Frustrating thing is that ds1 is fantastic these days - will stay quietly in bed until his timer light comes on just before 7 - and we really need to get them in the same room (ds2 still camping out in the study!)

elliott Mon 20-Dec-04 10:44:04

clary thanks. Yes we are on 7pm bedtime too (or soon after) - its hard to push it back because they both have tea and bath together and I don't think ds1 could cope with an 8pm bedtime - he is shattered by nursery. However it may be something to come back to as ds1 gets older - would work ok if we all ate together as we'd still have our evenings.

elliott Mon 20-Dec-04 11:03:54

anyone else? Pleeease? I know its boring but I really want to try and crack this over the xmas holidays...which start in about an hour!!

nasa Mon 20-Dec-04 11:06:11

sorry no. we've had this on and off for 3 years -we tried everything, black out blinds, bunny clock, moving bedtime later - nothing worked. He now wakes anytime between 5.30 and 6.30.
Sorry can't be more optimistic for you.

nasa Mon 20-Dec-04 11:07:47

oh and there is a bit about this in Toddler Taming - Christopher Green, He reckons that some children are just naturally early wakers and it's usually active, alert boys.

miranda2 Mon 20-Dec-04 11:21:21

WE had this last year! Black out blinds are essential, (though not so much at this time of year), but not necessarily enough. We dropped all sleep in the day except a lunchtime nap, and eventually moved bedtime back to 7.30pm. We also made sure he had a good tea (carbs!), and a big cup of warm milk last thing, to make sure he could go through. Also getting cold seemed to be a factor, helped by sleeping bags, warm pjs, and an oil-filled radiator on a thermostat in his room.
But basically we spent several weeks with pillows over our heads as we ignored screaming and wailing, and simply REFUSED to get up before 6am....
I'm afraid I can't remember now what cracked it, or whether just growing up did... but lots of things to try over the holiday anyway! Really hope you get it sorted, it is hell not having enough sleep - as someone earlier said, ds now sleeps fairly reliably to 6.30/7, and I'm dreading the appearance of his little bro in April/May....!

TracyK Mon 20-Dec-04 11:36:27

My ds was the same for maybe a month or so - anytime between 4 and 6am - although I did bring him into bed and he would go back to sleep (sometimes).
The past 2 nights he's been better and this morning it was 8 am!!! Maybe a combination of wrapping him up warmer, protein for his dinner, dream feeding him a little extra milk - or maybe just a phase.

elliott Mon 20-Dec-04 11:38:17

thanks all again. Yes Miranda we are spending a lot of time determinedly ignoring....but its not enough, I am still awake pretty much from the moment that he is. So even taking it in turns doesn't help a lot. He eats absolutely loads, so I half suspect he is a bit hungry in the morning, but he's not a milk swigger - I struggle to get him to take 4oz in the evening and he won't have any of it in the morning. I am going to put a radiator on in his room to eliminate cold as a factor....
But I suspect we will have the summer from hell this year and then maybe next winter will be better. I'm also hoping as he gets older we will move him in with his brother and they can entertain each other in the morning. Reluctant to do that now as there's not a lot ds1 can do to entertain a screaming 12 month old, and its not fair on him to be woken so early. At the mo he often sleeps through it all.

But I'm not completely convinced that he is a natural early waker - he's MUCH less active than his brother and I just don't believe that he only needs 10 hours sleep a night. hey ho.

Unfortunately my body clock is such that early waking is the sleep disturbance I tolerate least well - waking in the night I can cope with if I get back to sleep, and there is something very particular about the need to sleep between 6 and 7am for me! Hopeless at going to bed early too. But I think I'm going to have to train myself to change!

elliott Mon 20-Dec-04 11:39:19

oh, and even I would bring him to bed if it resulted in any peace. He just cries until he is sitting up with the light on and playing.

Piffleoffagus Mon 20-Dec-04 12:18:08

Gawd Chris Green!
My active alert boy slept like he'd been drinking beer all day
my lethargic sleepy little girl wakes at 5.45
she can nap for 3 hrs in the day or have no nap, go to bed at 8pm or 6pm
she still wakes at 5.45
She is teething large molars we live in hope that one day she will sleep til 7...
We too have blackouts, not tried toys in the cot, might try hardball but hard to do it to such a happy sweet kid...
Might help if I went to bed before 11pm...

ernest Mon 20-Dec-04 14:00:40

As you're doing thew 7pm bedtime, i think the only area to work on really is the nap time - up to 3 hours you say - how old is he again? Unless he's under 1, then it's a lot & could be cut back. Other than that, as others have said, blinds, toys & cc. best wishes. I was up at 5.30 with ds & it was NOT FUN. NOT AT ALL. (shouting mianly for his benefit but after long morning nap he's blissfully unaware) thank God rare occurrence, dunno how O'd cope if it was regular thing.

good luck

Awenamanger Mon 20-Dec-04 14:07:54

Hi elliott, my ds would wake up between 4.30 and 5.30 as a baby.. not unhappy or hongrey (obviously fed him) but just wide awake and ready for action. He is now 4 (5 in Feb) and he still wakes up early. Sometimes I get a lie in till 7 and he is the same at his dads too. I let him play quietly in his room or come in for a cuddle. He doesnt nap in the day and altho bedtiem is meant to be 7.30.. it is often a bit later and that doesnt change it either. He still wakes up early and happy but is grumpy later on.

I think some little ones, like big ones, are early birds.. (I am not one tho!)


Awenamanger Mon 20-Dec-04 14:09:34

Oh Nasa I got the exact same book.. havent had the pets put in the loo yet tho (see front cover) lol.

Had everything else in there tho!

elliott Tue 04-Jan-05 09:57:39

just to update. things miraculously settled down again over the holidays. We are limiting his daytime sleep to one sleep of up to two hours and that seems to help. Other than that I don't know why its got better, but I'm glad it has!!
Thanks for the input!

bakedpotato Tue 04-Jan-05 10:34:05

[heart-lifting emoticon]

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